No matter what industry you work in, you have one resource that is more valuable than all the others – your people. To keep people safe, there are certain best practices that security professionals can employ to protect their personnel.
Personnel accountability in action can make all the difference in times of crisis. Here’s what you need to know.
What are the Infrastructural Safety Requirements?
The logistics of safety and security will change from site to site, and operation to operation. However, there are certain features of a resilient security infrastructure that remain consistent. They are the ability to:
- Quickly and accurately account for your people in real-time
- Proactively send out alerts ahead of a disaster to provide instruction across personnel and sites
- Automate this personnel accountability process, leaving no room for manual error
- Remain in compliance with federal and industry-specific security mandates and regulations as they evolve in complexity
- Streamline information into one authoritative source, avoiding mixed signals and crossed wires and the confusion that follows
- Safely integrate information from key sources, like individual personnel, call centers, accountability officers, and other third party information suppliers
- Craft a unified crisis communication solution
Operational efficiency in times of crisis means accounting for 100% of your people, in real time. With AtHoc Account, you’ll get immediate accountability for your personnel, through an automated and efficient dashboard that’s working for you to aggregate user status, collect alert response data, and coordinate between call centers, system operators, and accountability officers. When you’re on-the-go, AtHoc Account stays in place to allow you to quickly and efficiently communicate and access real-time data, through the export of PDFs, charts, graphs, and other information.
Real-Life Personnel Accountability Case Studies
The Durham Regional Police Modernizes Communications
The Durham Regional Police set up a sophisticated personnel accountability framework in order to create awareness between first responders and operators. They’re the tenth-largest municipal police force in Canada, which means providing safety and security for over 660,000 residents through 1,100 officers and 400 vehicles. With so many moving parts, every second is critical during an emergency.
Historically, Durham officers relied on group text messages to communicate. In the event of a critical traffic accident in the region, officers had to communicate through mobile phone and radio to find out who was being dispatched, who was on-duty, and what was being estimated as to the severity of the situation. The text message system left room for error – missed calls, too much manual feedback collection, and inconsistent information distribution.
With AtHoc Account, all of that margin of error was removed. Officers now use AtHoc’s secure and reliable messaging and incident sharing functionality to help the organization respond to crises and issues, across multiple departments and personnel.
Raleigh-Durham Airport Unifies Emergency Mass Notification System
An airport is a notoriously complex site, and Raleigh-Durham Airport is no exception. With many personnel on-the-go, individuals can be difficult to track. When the airport upgraded its facilities to an all-IP network, the airport authority saw the opportunity to implement an emergency mass notification system that could integrate all existing communication devices and deliver true interoperability with surrounding federal and local partners.
Previously, Raleigh-Durham had relied on a pager infrastructure. The system was isolated, so all other communication modes like phones, PA systems and alerting mechanisms were not integrated. Travelers and staff relied on visual displays for necessary communications. Managers chaotically managed the flow of information across all of these separate components. An alert across the entire facility was not guaranteed to be received. Maintaining a list of external contacts and getting in touch with them was also extremely challenging – using pagers and phones to send out alerts didn’t always work.
AtHoc Account solved these issues. Raleigh-Durham unified communications, enabling a mass notification system that could send alerts to the contact list through smartphone, email, SMS and Cisco IP. With BlackBerry AtHoc, operators can request acknowledgements from users, so there’s no question whether an alert reaches its target. In addition, they can pull detailed reports showing who didn’t reply to an alert – pinpointing the area of need and increasing response effectiveness.
The Port of Houston Gets Smart About Personnel Accountability
The Port of Houston Authority (POHA) manages the 12th-largest port in the world. They are also the second-largest petrochemical complex in the world. There are 600 employees and several thousand visitors, contractors, drivers, and workers entering the POHA facilities each day. Not only are there thousands of personnel, there are billions of dollars worth of supplies, shipments and vessels arriving through the port each year.
Previously, POHA’s crisis communication system was not networked. It could only reach a certain number of internal staff, and it relied on phone calls and texts. The system was opt-in, which meant that the desired target of communications could not always be reached in time. When emergencies extend across county lines, cities, and communities, as is often the case with such a large facility, efficient communications are critical.
BlackBerry AtHoc was able to create a solution for POHA that streamlined communications. In order to keep the notification system clean, POHA is now able to pull directly from their active directory. They can ensure notifications are met across employees, tenants, neighboring areas, and state and federal agencies. The new clear method of integration with personnel management systems means up-to-date personnel accountability, and no more employees remaining in the system after the end of their employment. Now, in the case of a hazardous spill, fire, or other crisis, security managers can see exactly who is onsite, from vendors to visitors to subcontractors to employees and workers.
From meeting federal mandates, to reporting on status in real-time, to understanding who is affected, the challenges of personnel accountability are myriad. AtHoc Account helps your organization overcome these challenges, no matter what your old communications system looks like. With the best security, flexibility, and scalability in the industry AtHoc Account saves you money and valuable time. It’s also the only FedRAMP-certified personnel accountability solution.
Today’s security professionals are looking for a personnel accountability solution that integrates information, accounts for people in real time, and helps proactively safeguard their people and infrastructure. Learn more about AtHoc Account.